The 2018 FIFA World Cup has kicked-off with host Russia defeating Saudi Arabia 5-nil. And with President Putin present, at least the Russian players can be confident in drinking the water after the win…
While tomorrow’s post will feature a few predictions for this glorious tournament, today’s post will focus on a particularly well-done ad by Hyundai.
Nothing may ever top Nike’s airport commercial featuring Brazilian stars for the 1998 World Cup. It’s brilliant. However, a commercial spotlighting World Cup champion–and the ever-cool–Thierry Henry doing his own show-and-tell of personal soccer memorabilia is pretty awesome.
I’ll never forget seeing Thierry Henry in-person play for France in the 2006 World Cup against South Korea in the incredible Leipzig Stadium on June 18 that resulted in a 1-1 draw.
Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Henry doesn’t run. He glides and plays with world-class precision.
That’s my World Cup memory as a fan of Thierry Henry.
Arsenal (“The Gunners”) have not had many reasons to celebrate in triumphant fashion in recent years, yet they’re reminded at every home game at Emirates Stadium of the eternal truth that one goal can change everything.
To celebrate this “Throwback Thursday,” let’s visually travel back to the far back yesteryear of 2002. The match was Arsenal hosting its bitter rival Tottenham Hotspur and the player was Thierry Henry. If you’re struggling to place Thierry Henry, he’s that world-class French forward who doesn’t run in strides, but glides with speed and cool precision.
I present the story of his goal and its iconic (and elaborate) celebration that literally and figuratively cemented Mr. Henry’s legacy in London.
What’s French for power and strength?
At least France has one non-joke answer to that question.
Thierry Henry has retired from soccer.
In an unsurprising move, the French striker has chosen to end his professional career (just a matter of hours ago) at the impressive age of 37. For those that do not play soccer, ending one’s career at 37 would be a splendid achievement for a professional goalkeeper. But for an actively involved striker, it takes a genuine world-class talent.
That’s Thierry Henry.
And the statistics are phenomenal. Let’s try to tackle a few of them:
- Arsenal: Henry scored 228 goals and had 93 assists in 376 games (“Thierry Henry in numbers: The stats as the Frenchman hangs up his boots,” Alex Richards, 12/16/14).
- Barcelona: He scored 49 goals in three seasons, which amounted to 121 appearances. “He won two Liga titles, one Champions League, one Club World Cup, one Copa del Rey, one Spanish Super Cup, and one European Super Cup with FC Barcelona” (“FC Barcelona Legends: Thierry Henry,” FC Barcelona online). And yes, this was with master tactician Pep Guardiola at the helm.
- France: Playing for his national team, he netted 51 goals in 123 caps, which included being part of the team that won the World Cup in 1998 (“Thierry Henry in numbers: The stats as the Frenchman hangs up his boots,” Alex Richards, 12/16/14). Scoring goals for France was as easy as 1-2-3 for him (had to).
The awe-inspiring stats aside, the coolest experience (cool being the optimum word for Henry) was sitting front row at the France-South Korea group match at the 2006 World Cup in Leipzig, Germany with a crowd of 43,000 people. A great bonus was that Henry scored in this game! The following absolutely needs to be said because I’ve never seen this quality in any other player: Thierry Henry does not run, but he glides. It’s crazy-ridiculously-awesome to witness. It’s really something else and I’ve never seen anyone else do that. I will never forget that experience or that amazing talents of Thierry Henry on display that night (along with a little known player named Franck Ribéry).
And while he’s certainly not the only player by any stretch of the imagination that qualifies for the following, he is one: Thierry Henry encapsulates what’s so amazing about the beautiful game. His skills, intelligence and presence on the field is special and uplifting. He’s not a nasty player, but competitive and talented. He will be missed by teammates and fans alike. On his Facebook page, he announced that his next venture will be at Sky Sports, making his return to London.
Let’s face it, there cannot be an article about Henry retiring without a highlight video:
Thierry Henry: A player with a legacy that will hover for generations to come.
Ce était une magnifique carrière!
(It was a magnificent career!)